2018 recruit Chris Heighington is set to be the oldest ever player to pull on the red and blue for the first time, but as a super fit forward that has never had a big injury, he says age isn’t everything.
“Everyone keeps telling me how old I am but I feel young… age is just a number to me and although I’m getting old, I’m still enjoying it,” the 35-year-old said on Monday.
“When you’re around 21-year-olds and younger kids all the time, they keep you moving and if I’m doing it, they should be doing it as well,” Heighington laughed.
Although he’s played 319 NRL games, he admits to still feeling some nerves ahead of this Friday’s season opener.
“A new Club and the expectation to win some games always gets me nervous before games, even though I’ve been around for a while,” smiled Heighington.
That being said, he’s looking forward to the match on Friday night and couldn’t be more ready to officially put on the red and blue.
“I’m looking forward to it and my family is coming down to watch,” Heighington said.
“The boys have been training a long time now and everyone is raring to go.”
Come Friday, Heighington expects a tough match with Manly boasting a strong side carrying over from last season.
“They’ve got some really good forwards, fast outside backs and they’ve had those combinations for a few years now so expecting a really tough game,” he explained.
“We watched their trial against the (Sydney) Roosters and they looked like they played really well, so we’re going to be up for it and hopefully all our fans can come out and support us.”
The forward admits he can’t wait to finally run out at McDonald Jones Stadium.
“That’s why we play and why we train so hard every week for these big occasions,” Heighington commented.
“This is a big one for the Club and you’ve just got to take it on board.”
And the experienced forward maintains while he’s been learning plenty of new things himself, he’s been impressed with the level of enthusiasm coming from younger players at the Club.
“I’m learning a fair bit off (Nathan) Brown and the coaching staff, they play a different sort of style but the young kids are always enthusiastic,” he stated.
“They always come up asking questions, so the willingness for them to learn is outrageous, I’ve never seen a club like this where they want to get better, and they’re going to keep getting better players in years to come.”